Even though it just started, September has already been an exciting month for restaurant news. The biggest news: Dining rooms across Miami have been allowed to reopen at 50% capacity. For eateries that have been relying on solely takeout and delivery these past few months, this easing of restrictions has been a godsend.
Your old favorites aren’t the only ones open for business now. Several new restaurants have recently joined the scene and hope to make a splash during these trying times. Here are a few of these newcomers that should be on your radar:
The Design District just welcomed Caja Caliente to the neighborhood. The Cuban taco truck has permanently set up shop in the area and is serving a range of crowd favorites, along with some surprises unique to the location. Among the tacos available: pork, steak and octopus.
While the truck is mostly known for tacos, there’s a lot more than meets the eye. Cuban tamal, ceviche and a variety of customizable bowls are also joining the party, as well as the plantain pastelon – think of it as a Cuban lasagna. The Design District spot also serves as a delivery hub for Wynwood, Edgewater, MiMo and neighboring areas. With another location in Coral Gables, you’re never too far from some fantastic Cuban comfort food.
Caja Caliente is located at 95 NE 40th Street, Miami, FL 33137. For more information, visit their official website.
Miami is noticeably lacking in British food, so The Chippy has stepped in to fill the giant hole in the food scene (and our stomachs). You’ll find The Chippy inside Balans in Brickell, where chef Justin Brown is cooking up classics like fish and chips and sticky toffee pudding. The fish and chips are the star of the show, but they’re joined by formidable options such as battered sausages and chicken strips. Diets have no place here.
Speaking of throwing your diet out of the window, say hello to the battered Mars Bar or Snickers for dessert. If you didn’t need a nap after the entrée, you’ll definitely need one after scarfing down one (or two) of these bad boys.
The Chippy is located at 901 South Miami Avenue. For more information, visit their official website.
Food and Wine’s Best New Chef Niven Patel has another hit on his hands with Mamey, his new Caribbean-influenced concept located inside the Thesis Hotel in Coral Gables. Patel is predominantly known for his Dadeland restaurant Ghee Indian Kitchen, which offers very different cuisine compared to this latest venture. However, Mamey’s tropical fare is no less delicious.
Standouts on the mouthwatering menu include the ghee-roasted plantains with jerk-spiced crema, wahoo ceviche and Trini-spiced cauliflower. Dessert is offered in solid and liquid (aka cocktail) form: the Jamaican rum cake is a must in the former category, and the gin-based Guava Bramble Cobbler is worth a look in the latter category. Make sure you have a reservation – this is one of the hottest tickets in town.
Mamey is located at 1350 South Dixie Highway, Coral Gables, FL 33146. For more information, visit the hotel’s official website.
Marabu at Brickell City Centre has been years in the making, and we’re happy to announce it’s finally here. The upscale Cuban restaurant at the upscale shopping center is led by chef-partner Albert Cabrera, who previously helmed The Local 150 and Bread + Butter in Coral Gables.
Marabu emphasizes coal-fired cooking and features familiar selections like masitas de Puerco (crispy pork chunks), vaca frita (crispy smoked flank steak) and palomilla (top round steak). Family Meal is big here, with options like a rotisserie Cuban-style pork picnic and 2 pounds of salt-cured short rib up for grabs. Expect mojitos and plenty of other rum-based cocktails to help you wash everything down.
Marabu is located at 701 South Miami Avenue, Miami FL 33131 on the fourth floor of Brickell City Centre. For more information, visit their official website.
When you’re hungry and want something good, fast and cheap, keep Shawarma Stackz top of mind. This fun Wynwood shop specializes in Middle Eastern street food, providing guests with tasty proteins like falafel, chicken shawarma and steak shawarma. Customization is big here, and you can enjoy your pick in a variety of styles including pita and rice bowl.
Can’t make up your mind? Choose one of the signature options such as the Esquire, a chicken shawarma pita stuffed with fries, parsley mix, tomatoes and pickled cucumbers. Don’t forget to load up on yummy sauces; the cilantro tahini and cucumber yogurt are solid choices. No matter what you get, make sure to include an order of halloumi cheese stix with fig jam; this isn’t your run-of-the-mill fried cheese.
Shawarma Stackz is located at 241 NW 24th Street, Miami, FL 33127. For more information, visit their official website.